Pieces of the Puzzle

With the current multiyear deal winding down and no successor arrangement in place yet, the future of the Air Force’s C-130J program remains an open question. Air Mobility Command spokesman Maj. David Huxsoll tells the Daily Report that, as of April 28, the Air Force has accepted delivery of 65 of the 87 C-130Js under its contracted program of record, giving the service seven EC-130Js, 10 WC-130Js, and 48 combat-delivery models. The 22 yet-to-be delivered aircraft are all combat-delivery C-130Js, he said. All of the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command units under the current plan have received their full complement of aircraft. Further, the first combat-delivery active duty unit, the 41st Airlift Squadron at Little Rock AFB, Ark., has received nine of its 16 aircraft, Huxsoll said. Due to the demands of the global war on terror and the advanced age of the C-130E model, the Air Force likely will buy more J models over the next few years—perhaps many more. Huxsoll noted that the Fiscal 2008 supplemental defense spending request included 15 C-130Js. The service needs these airframes to ensure it can maintain at least 395 C-130 tails as it continues to retire E models. The Department of Defense’s most recent selected acquisition report indicated that the Air Force intends to increase the C-130J program of record to 134 aircraft.